A savage war for the control of Middle East petroleum resources took place between the years 1990 and 1991. As the conflict escalated, governments from all over the world got involved, and lives from every corner of the globe were put at risk. By the time that a cease-fire had been achieved, the Middle East was left with tens of thousands of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, a number of unprecedented environmental cataclysms, and a host of precariously unresolved political posturings.
Soon after President George H. W. Bush ordered the USA's military to bomb Baghdad on January 17th, 1991, the members of Herd Of The Ether Space (HOTES) decided it was time to express their disgust for those responsible for bringing so much pain to the planet with their quests for petroleum supremacy. Their ire was not only aimed at Bush and his Republican supporters, but at Saddam Hussein and everyone else responsible for this deadly exercise in greed management: every dictator, shah, prime minister, oil company executive, media magnate, weapons manufacturer, etc.
HOTES members: George Gibson, Charles Rice Goff III, Killr "Mark" Kaswan, and Robert Silverman chose March 1st, 1991, as the date on which they would make their first public statement regarding the Persian Gulf War. This statement would come in the form of an elaborate live performance.
The show was hosted by the "Art Here" Gallery in Albany, California. HOTES member Will Marston (aka Will Flanagan) filmed the entire performance with a video cassette camera. In 2009, Goff edited the video into the form archived here. Taped Rugs Productions released an audio cassette album from the performance in 1991, but the video remained hidden from public view until Goff's 2009 edit was completed, and Taped Rugs released it on DVDR in 2010.
The exhibits which were on display at "Art Here" during the time of the performance provided just a portion of the visual ambiance for the HOTES presentation. Artist Debra Burger created an impressive set for the show with bricks, sandbags, and barbed wire. She also promenaded around the set in dramatic costuming at various points during the performance.
A television in the room played a video collage of Gulf War-related news reports throughout the show. This collage had been edited together by Goff and Gibson, who pared down about forty hours of raw TV footage onto a two- hour-long video tape. Goff overlaid several portions from the Goff/Gibson video collage into his 2009 "Noises Of War" final cut. He also made over 100 pans and zooms on the Marston video to sculpt the presentation archived here. The soundtrack for the Marston video unfortunately suffered some deterioration during the eighteen years between 1991 and 2009, but Goff was able to clean it up to some degree.
The basic framework for the "Noises Of War" presentation consists of seven movements which follow a somewhat narrative arrangement:
1 Purification (basically an introduction and preparation for what was to come)
2 Shifting Sands (establishing the setting for the war and showcasing some of the events leading up to it)
3 The Bombing Of Baghdad (the beginning of the war expressed through a Killr Kaswan modified folk song)
4 Reaction To War (a violent expression of frustration over the violence of the war itself)
5 The Duel (a metaphorical look at the senselessness of war as expressed through the sonically-embellished reading of a short story by Eugene Field)
6 Mourning Breaks (a lament over the tragedies caused by the war)
7 Exorcism (an attempt to free the mind and body from the torments of the war -- this movement included a reading of some ethereal words written by the late Doors lyricist, Jim Morrison)
NOTE NOTE NOTE: A large collection of audio recordings and printed materials related to "Noises Of War" are archived here:
Copyright 1991, 2009
by Taped Rugs Productions